Can anyone help me find this article about academic time management?
August 3, 2015 8:48 AM   Subscribe

A while ago I came across an article written by a professor about time management in academia. It was a really great and valuable article but no matter how hard I search, I can't find it again. It was basically him (her? think it was him) detailing his techniques that he uses to manage his time.

The article included:

They included:

- Working from home sometimes. He said that although it's important to be seen around the department, what people will really remember and care about is your productivity, so make that your priority. He advocated working from home for at least one day/week?

- Scheduling everything. For example, scheduling time for if you run into a student in the hall who has a question. He may have used 'blocks' or something to refer to scheduling? Or...maybe not blocks, but some kind of system that accounted for unexpecteds like a student in the hall.

- Saying no. He gave an example of someone saying no to the dean. With no excuses. Again he cited how what they really care about is your productivity at the end of the day, so make that happen.

- Teaching classes. He said he used to spend so much time trying to come up with the most interesting/straightforward/best way to explain something. Now he makes the students explain it, and it has actually led to better learning. Basically he used to get up and try to give this polished lecture, now he just makes sure he knows the subject and stimulates discussion.

- 'Confessions'. He referred to some of these tips as confessions, or things that academics don't want to talk about but they all do.

I believe this article was a pdf without any graphics or anything. I really wish I could find it again! That's basically all I remember about it, and no matter what combination of things I put into Google I can't find it.

Thanks, hivemind.
posted by whalebreath to Education (8 answers total) 94 users marked this as a favorite
This was very popular among the academics I know when it came out, although I'm not sure it hits all of the points you mention: The Awesomest 7-Year Postdoc or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Tenure-Track Faculty Life.
posted by joan cusack the second at 9:06 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think you may be looking for the "How Not To Suck At Grad School" blog, by a McGill professor. Here's the specific post about time management. Here's one on setting annual goals that includes a bit about saying "no."
posted by ourobouros at 9:06 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Is it this paper called "Confessions About Time and Stress: Thoughts for New Faculty" by Clayton Lewis? (that's a direct link to a pdf)
posted by Hellgirl at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2015 [13 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you everybody! It was the Clayton Lewis article, I am so thrilled to have found it after hours of searching. I'll be having a look at all the other articles mentioned as well.
posted by whalebreath at 11:22 AM on August 3, 2015

Also, the thing about having formerly given great lectures and then realising it was better to have students explain concepts to each other is discussed at length in this video by Eric Mazur from Harvard. Worth a watch if you are interested in that topic.
posted by lollusc at 7:31 PM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Interesting read.

I happened to be one of Clayton's undergrad students at Colorado. He was, as you might guess from this writing, quite adequate as a teacher, if occasionally unavailable.

Now, the department he worked in... Well, few of us get to choose our colleagues.
posted by underflow at 8:09 PM on August 9, 2015

While not entirely useful for my new position as a visiting faculty of a teaching college, I can see that there are good tools within this article that I would regret ignoring. I have three classes to prepare for which I have never taught before so the pressure is mounting. Reflecting on the reading several hours later, I realized that it kicked me into gear for my day of planning for the upcoming semester and that makes me wonder what other educational "devotionals" there might be out there. (Side-note: It pains me to use that term, but it is the closest thing I can think of!)
posted by phlyingpenguin at 2:05 PM on August 16, 2015

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